Too much light
There’s an idea that you hear quite a lot about in Breslov circles, but not so much in other places, that’s called ribui or in Hebrew, or ‘too much light’.
There’s various approaches about what this actually means, but if you’ve ever come back from Uman and then found yourself kind of hanging out on a spiritual Cloud 9 that seems totally disconnected from ‘real life’, then this is known as ribui or.
I’ve had that happen more than once.
There have been times when I came back from Uman totally swinging off that spiritual chandelier, that it was really, really hard to get grounded again in ‘real life’, and to try to figure out how to continue to serve Hashem, whilst also continuing to do things like make supper and hang the washing.
Rabbi Berland talks about this subject in the Sichot HaRav book, and here’s a little bit more of what he says about it:
“The essential point is the life of asiyah (action / doing). The world of asiyah (doing) is the point. That a person returns to the world of ‘action’ – to have shalom bayit with their wife, to have patience, not to react violently even when others upset him.”
Of course, this is so much easier said than done.
Speaking for myself, some of my biggest melt-downs in my personal relationships have occurred when I felt my kids, or my husband, or the other people I interact with where somehow preventing me from serving God the way I wanted to.
How dare this kid get in the way of my massive Shemoneh Esrei! How dare this teenager want to speak to me, when I’m in the middle of doing my hour of hitbodedut?! How dare other people expect me to interact with them without mentioning Hashem, or Rabbenu, or the Rav, every two minutes?!
Ribui or can be a massive challenge, when it comes to actually continuing to ‘be’ in the world in any capacity that you could remotely label as ‘normal’.
Tomorrow morning, Sunday, 9th February, at 10am Jerusalem time, I’ll be discussing ribui or in way more detail on the Sunday Zoom call for women only.
You can join the class below:
And if you want to get the replay sent along later in the week, make sure you’ve joined the Breslov Ladies Mailing List here: